President Barack Obama and Michelle used to talk frequently about how the White House was the “people’s house.” In fact, the White House website now carries this quote from the First Lady: “It’s the ‘People’s House.’ It’s a place that is steeped in history, but it’s also a place where everyone should feel welcome. And that’s why my husband and I have made it our mission to open up the house to as many people as we can.”
So much for that nonsense. The same week that President Obama’s administration announced that due to sequestration, White House tours would be cancelled, sources at the White House announced that it would be hosting megastars Adele and Beyonce at Michelle’s 50th birthday party next year. “America’s First Lady will be holding a huge celebrity-packed party for her birthday at the White House next year and, as she adores Adele and Beyonce, she has asked them both to sing,” the source told the UK Daily Mail. The source did say that “The Obamas will pay Adele’s expenses as it’s a private party, not a State one.”
But will they pay all the expenses of the party? Security arrangements? Food? Cleanup? White House parties are expensive affairs.
It’s obvious that the White House’s priorities don’t lie with the people. They lie with the personal party predilections of the Obamas.
While the Secret Service protection during White House tours costs some $74,000 per week – the cost the White House brags it is saving on the cancelled tours — Air Force One costs $175,750 per flight hour, not including pilots, airmen, and Secret Service. (Some sources say the cost for the tours is $18,000 per week.) Obama has taken several pricey jaunts to locations including, most recently, Florida in the past few months. And those parties at the White House? They certainly cost a fair bit of money, but we’ll never hear how much; as the Washington Post put it back in 2012, “getting a straight answer about the cost of any White House party is almost impossible.”
There is little chance that the taxpayers will not foot some of the expense of Mrs. Obama’s magical 50th. And there is no chance that the “people’s house” will be open to the “people” nearly as much as it is to the Obamas’ celebrity superfriends in coming weeks.
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the book “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).